American Love Letter
The Fourth of July holiday is always so much fun and this year was no exception. We ate boiled peanuts and homemade ice cream. We spent a long day at the river and the kids anticipated the fireworks that came later that evening. With family and friends gathered around we celebrated our freedom and our country. I absolutely love this country!
Have I ever mentioned that I don’t routinely watch the news? I’m a worrier anyways and the news always seemed to make that so much worse. One day I just quit. When the news updates come on the radio I hit the seek button, much to my husbands dismay, and search for something a little more positive. When I get home and the local news is on I leave the room. My husband and my friends know to alert me if a hurricane or tropical storm is in our future. Otherwise, just leave me to my life in the America that isn’t so ugly and skewed by the media. When I say media i’m referring to all media. I mean both sides. I mean the left and the right. Call me ignorant or uneducated. I’m ok with that because at the end of the day I’m happy.
The America I love is the one that comes to a complete stop when their country is threatened, attacked, hurting, or shaken. I was at work on September 11, 2001 when the attacks happened. It’s still so vivid. 9/11 was the most major tragedy that happened in my adult life and was really the first time I felt personally affected. Do you know that every single year I watch the 9/11 specials that come on TV? For me It’s less about who put our country under attack and so much more about each life, each story, and remembering how this country came together. That’s the America I love.
I live in the state that is most known for getting hit by hurricanes. Many of us do. I was only ten years old when Hurricane Andrew hit. Although I don’t remember much about the actual event, I have heard the stories. I have heard first hand accounts of people helping people. I was 23 when Hurricane Katrina ripped through the gulf coast and caused so much destruction. I was still on board with watching the news then and that day I hated it. I know it wasn’t a pretty situation. Catastrophe never is, but why were they focusing on the ugly things that were coming from the tragedy? There were stories of survival and heroism that involved people just like you and I. There were stories of first responders having to leave their families to assist strangers. Where was that coverage? Where was the encouragement in such a devastating time? I know Katrina caused a lot of controversy because it was all over the news, but quotes like this one tell me people showed up for people…
That’s the America I love.
In 2017 Hurricanes Harvey and Irma once again wreaked havoc in the South. As someone who has given up mainstream media I turn to The Weather Channel and social media during weather threats. My husband says that social media and the Kardashians will be the downfall of this country. While I think that’s over-dramatic, I do agree that there’s a lot of negative that comes from social media. I also think I’m right when I say that people really show up in a positive way on those outlets sometimes. I still smile when I think about how people showed up for Texas during Hurricane Harvey. Do you remember the pictures of the interstate jam-packed with trucks and their personal boats headed to help? I mean #MERICA! I see the power companies from all over the US sending their trucks out during our hurricanes in Florida. I know that those people have families that they leave for weeks at a time to go help. Yeah, I realize that’s their job but they’re still making sacrifices to help. Here in our small town we donated and had trailers packed full of supplies to send to those in need during those times. That’s the America I love.
The Las Vegas shooting is another tragedy that seemed really close to home for me. If you’ve listened to the podcast or read past blogs then you know I’m the music nerd. I love it all but of course country music is my go to. I follow my favorites on Instagram and through the Story feature you start to feel kinda connected to those people you follow. I listen to podcasts related to their songwriting, and I’ve heard how passionate they are about the connection with and responsibility they feel for their fans. When I woke up to my morning ritual, The Bobby Bones Show, I heard what had happened in Vegas that night. All morning I listened to people as they recounted the things they could remember from that night. People were literally giving their lives and risking their own safety for others. Some loved ones. Some strangers. I felt like the whole nation just wanted to wrap their arms around those who had been involved. We all know Vegas isn’t the only instance. We’re all aware of the ugly things that go on in our world. We’re aware because it’s heart wrenching. It makes us feel something. Everything stops in those tragic moments. We mourn lives lost, we stand behind those that came out on the other side, and we pray hard for people we’ve never even met. That’s the America I love.
Something I think we take for granted sometimes are the people who serve this country. Wives living without husbands and vice versa because they are defending our freedom. Children without one parent or the other, or maybe both because they are defending our freedom. The list goes on. So many brave people have given and are giving their lives because they believe in this country. They are giving up their lives for our freedom. That’s the America I love.
I know life can’t be lived behind rose colored glasses. I know that first-hand. I do however refuse to believe that there isn’t any good left in this country. There is. There is so much good. There will be so many more opportunities for us to come together. I believe we will take them.
That’s the America I love.
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